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Archive for Thursday, February 15, 2001

Hallmark revenues up for year

Increase in card sales offsets other declines

February 15, 2001

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— Revenues at greeting card giant Hallmark rose 3 percent in 2000, adding to the ground the company must make up to meet its ambitious projection of $12 billion in revenues by 2010.

Hallmark's consolidated net revenues came in at $4.3 billion last year, the company said Wednesday, for a 3 percent rise from 1999. Privately owned Hallmark doesn't disclose profits, but said that on a percentage basis 2000 net earnings outgrew revenue.

Last year's small increase would seem to fall short of expectations, but a company spokeswoman said it was a year of investment for Hallmark.

"We don't have to be math experts to know that we need more than a 3 percent growth rate a year, so that is not where we want to be in the long run," spokeswoman Julie O'Dell said.

"Having said that, there are some things that have just plain taken some investment and some time to get up and running, and we'll see the results of those in the coming years."

To reach its 2010 goal, Hallmark would have to increase sales by more than 12 percent a year between now and 2009.

"Yes, we're sensitive to that," O'Dell said, "but we have not changed our goal by any stretch."

Revenue growth in 2000 was led by a 5 percent increase in sales in the company's North American greeting card business. Another bright spot was a 4 percent increase in revenues in its Binney & Smith division, which makes Crayola crayons.

Hallmark makes greeting cards and other products at a plant in Lawrence, where it has about 1,000 employees.

The company saw a 5 percent decline in revenues from the Hallmark Entertainment division, a result of producing fewer films than anticipated. Other pressure came from a 4 percent decrease in Hallmark International, the company's card unit in the United Kingdom.

A bright spot in 2000 was the launch of the Hallmark Fresh Ink line of cards aimed at women ages 18 to 39, the company said.

Hallmark is the greeting card market share leader with 55 percent of sales.

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